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In the heart of Spain, you will find its capital and center: the glorious city of Madrid. Lying on the lovely River Manzanares, it shares its borders with Castile and León and Castile-La Mancha which possess autonomous governance. From Toledo, the royal family shifted to Madrid that led to enormous growth in the city in every aspect. The city contributes significantly to Spain’s economy especially the tourism industry. Coincidentally, the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are situated in Madrid. The city has largely preserved its old districts and traditions enhancing its charm for tourists and locals alike.
Vacation rentals in Madrid
There is a great variety of apartments for rent in Madrid supporting tourism. Take a look at the selection on CuddlyNest’s website that provides vacation rentals for couples, families, friends and groups. You may specify the number of bedrooms, type of rooms and property category to locate the ideal accommodation in Madrid. It is a good idea to plan out your trip and then search for a suitable vacation rental so you may find one close to those areas allowing you to save on travel costs in a foreign country.
Tourist attractions in Madrid
The city is an amazing starting point for those who wish to dive into Spanish culture. There are many places of learning to visit including museums and historical sites. You may enjoy the natural beauty of Madrid or head towards popular shopping avenues housing outlets of famous international brands.
Royal Palace of Madrid
While the Royal Palace of Madrid was meant for the monarchs, it ended up being used for state ceremonies instead of an official residence. It is a grand palace that certainly ticks all the boxes for luxurious living. However, the current royal family chooses to live in the smaller Palace of Zarzuela which is located right outside Madrid. Thanks to the Royal Palace of Madrid being open for tours, anyone can sneak a peek into the incredible architecture, fittings and furnishings there. The building sprawls an amazing 135,000 square meters which include more than 3000 extravagant rooms. The interior is straight out of a fairy tale with enchanting paintings from famous artists like Caravaggio and Juan de Flandes. The intricate frescos will leave you stunned as they are by artists such as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Corrado Giaquinto. Perhaps you would like to see the Royal Armory if you are into warfare history. The palace also displays the only Stradivarius string quintet to be preserved in its whole integrity.
Walk to the Plaza Mayor in the middle of Madrid to get up close and personal with the rich Spanish culture. It is basically the Main Square which has always been of great significance to the residents. Plaza Mayor was first constructed between 1580 and 1619. Initially, it served as the main market where the citizens came to mingle, sell wares, eat and shop for goods. Back then it was known as the Plaza del Arrabal. Nowadays, Plaza Mayor ranks high among tourist hotspots in the city. Feel the true essence of urban Spain walking around the popular shops and enjoying the lively atmosphere. A stunning attraction within this square is a masterfully crafted statue of King Phillip III which is made out of bronze. The king can be seen riding proud atop his noble steed from a distance. It was a present from the Duke of Florence and Queen Isabel II ordered it placed in Plaza Mayor in 1848.
Museo del Prado
The Museo del Prado or Prado Museum is the primary museum for art in the country established right in the center of the city for easy access. It is a world famous art museum because of the incredible collections it houses especially the rare pieces that are nowhere to be find elsewhere. The Museo del Prado specializes in showing and restoring European art and has its foundation in the Spanish Royal Collection. No wonder it possesses such coveted works of art from 12th to the 20th century. You will not find a more superior collection of Spanish art anywhere in the world. The highlight is Las Meninas by Velázquez. The museum first came into being in 1819 and has only expanded since then in fame and collections. Visit exhibitions of the finest paintings and sculptures at the Museo del Prado on your trip to Madrid if you are a lover of art and a fan of Francisco Goya.
Parque del Buen Retiro
When the weather is pleasant, don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of nature at Parque del Buen Retiro which literally translates to the Park of the Pleasant Retreat. This is one of biggest and most well known parks in the city where the locals and tourists come to relax. Like many other places in Madrid, the park was originally owned by the royal family of Spain. Nowadays, Parque del Buen Retiro is the center of cultural events in the city. You might want to check their calendar to visit in time for one of these special events. Spanning 350acres there is plenty of fun to be had and sights to see in the park. Sit by the lovely lake with your favorite book or take a walk through the paths lined with beautiful sculptures and monuments.
Puerta del Sol
Another famous public square in the city of Madrid is the Puerta del Sol that translates to “Gate of the Sun”. A rising sun was carved at the entrance because it faces east welcoming the sunrise every day. It was originally one of the gates of the city wall from 15th century Madrid. The clock at this square has bells that announce the tradition of eating Twelve Grapes and the New Year. A grand celebration takes place at Puerta del Sol at every New Year’s Eve. You might want to visit during that time to join in the fun.
Book your vacation rental in Madrid with CuddlyNest for an unforgettable authentic Spanish experience.